Food Processing

The Basic Pantry Analysis: Design, Food, Sourcing

The Basic Pantry Analysis:  Design, Food, Sourcing

Cuisine is diet that's unique to a physical place and a human cultural group. We can taste the patterns of modern cuisine in the melding of characteristic ingredients into characteristic forms. Wheat noodles with tomato sauce points us in the direction of Italy. Fermented spiced cabbage leads us to Korean kimchi.

Flexitarianism: Living and Sharing Solutions to Climate Change

Flexitarianism:  Living and Sharing Solutions to Climate Change

DISCLAIMER: These are my thoughts and experiences on what can be a deeply cultural, charged and personal topic: diet. There is a lot we don’t know, especially when it comes to what a sustainable diet is. For one, most studies have been centred in high-income Western countries (Jones et al., 2016); it’s also still largely unclear exactly what a “healthy diet” should consist of, nevertheless what a truly sustainable society would look like. Integrating all of these concepts is an enormous challenge.

How to Make a Real Tortilla

How to Make a Real Tortilla

When I was a teenager, I traveled for a few months with a Mexican shoe-shiner I met in Mazatlán. We thumbed rides across the country and were taken in along the way by a dozen or so of his relatives. I often found myself in the kitchen with his aunts, cousins, and nieces, making tamales, sopes, or other dishes that were new to me.

Farm to Table Tales

Farm to Table Tales

Good food takes time. I've heard this phrase many times before, but after nine months at the Ranch, I've truly come to understand what it means to me. The local Costa Ricans are called the Ticos. The Ticos live by the mantra "Pura Vida", which directly translates to pure life. This is indefinitely how they choose to live. "Tico time" is another phrase I've heard and come to understand here. Ticos work at their own pace, never feeling the need to hurry or stress at time. They are the happiest people I've ever met. The western way of life has much to learn from this, no more so than in the world of food. I have three stories to tell that I think shed perfect light on this matter.

Food, Familiar Stranger

Food, Familiar Stranger

When I was a teenager thumbing rides around Mexico, I quickly realized my vegetarianism would not survive. If my friend Valente and I got in some dusty car with a family that brought us back to a tin-roofed house and gave us chicken soup, we ate that soup. The kindness of strangers humbled my big picture ideas of right and wrong.

Cultured Butter & the Culture of Butter

Cultured Butter & the Culture of Butter

When my dad was in third grade, his class followed the cirriculum laid out in a workbook. In times of boredom and monoteny, he would flip ahead and learn new material the class was soon to arrive at. One day he came across a particularly interesting bit: a tongue twister. My dad spent the next six weeks practicing the tongue twister in secrecy of his classmates until, finally, the class caught up to that point in the workbook. The teacher gave each student the opportunity to recite the tongue twister from the book, and each student who attempted this tongue twister stumbled through a slew of "Betty botta buddhas," until it was my dad's opportunity.